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The waves

As the Wind Blows

Location: Chennai, Tamilnadu, India

13 May 2004

The Great Boomerang !!

It is amazing how poll after poll, Indian electorate gives its verdict defying all expectations. And gives it so clearly.

Even as we wait for Sonia Gandhi to come up with her choice of the person to do the job of heading the government (or accepts pleadings from the party cadre to take on the mantle). As things appear, it is most likely we are going to have the privilege of having a PM of non-Indian origin. Though there have been examples in other parts of the world like Fuji and Mauritius, the pragmatic approach of the Indian populace is still rare in the international scene. Notwithstanding the heated debates by BJP & co about her foreign origin, it never really mattered to Indians at large.

Whereas, the basic problems of living a decent life did.

I think the BJP’s war cry of “Say no to foreign origin” and flagship sale point of “ India Shining” actually boomeranged on them in this election.

When people didn’t have basic infrastructure like drinking water and health care, slogans about number of cell phones sold and bloating foreign exchange reserves looked as crude joke on the man on the street.

And in India, they are the ones who care to exercise their franchise. Unlike in the US or elsewhere in the world, where the voting percentage increases according to the level of social status in terms of education and economic progress of the individuals, in India the reverse has always been the case. It is the poor and the uneducated, who turn up in large numbers at the polling booths, while the middle class literates enjoy the polling day as one more holiday. While many of my relatives remarked, - without a trace of guilt – ‘oh, I have never voted.. who will do all that etc…’ my maid wanted a day off on the polling day. I said OK, but asked why? ‘ I have to go to vote.”

You should have seen the pride and enthusiasm in her voice.

For them, it is a job of great pride – to exercise their right. A precious moment when their vote matters. They believe so.

And believe me, IT DOES.

So, if you are an Indian reading this, make it a point to vote – take pains to find out the means to do so long distance; if you are living elsewhere from your native place. Make sure your name is in the voters list; if not, get registered much ahead of next polls which, god willing, ( read coalition partners willing ) should be five years away from now J

After all, we get the government we deserve.


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